Hailing from a farming background on the outskirts of Thurles, Co Tipperary, Philip Dwyer farms in a partnership with his brother; sadly, their father passed away when they were in college.
The farm was originally a beef enterprise, but when the opportunity arose to go into dairy with his brother T.J., they jumped at the chance.
The 37-year-old and his older brother entered into a partnership when they took over the running of the family farm. Originally, they both worked off-farm but now T.J. is managing the dairy business full-time while Philip works off-farm as PharVet's National Sales Manager.
When the milk quotas were abolished, the pair decided dairying was the only viable way forward - a big change from a beef enterprise that their parents had previously operated.
As new entrants to dairy four years ago, they have now extended their starting figure from 75 to 165 cows.
The brothers operate a 22-unit DeLaval milking parlour. They intend to grow their dairy herd to 200-220 cows and Philip knows only too well that they’re very lucky that all their land is together in one block, which makes it easier to farm.
The entire system has been geared to be expandable and simplicity has been their core focus.
After secondary school, Philip went on to complete a degree in Business Studies at University of Limerick majoring in Economics and Finance and minoring in Agri-business.
Although Philip's heart was in agriculture, his degree led him in a different path, when he joined State Street Ireland - the investment bank.
He decided to travel to Australia and again, took up employment with the same investment bank. This was only a short-term role and it was there, after he started working on farms in Australia, that he knew that the banking just wasn’t his ideal line of work.
Upon his return to Ireland, he secured a position with an oil company where he worked at both retail and wholesale level and eventually moved to KEENAN, where he remained for over five years.
This seems to be where all of Philip’s experiences seemed to start to come together, having now worked in agriculture, finance and sales.
“That was a great experience,” said Philip, “It would have helped us lot when we were going into dairy as that knowledge and access to expertise was helpful along the way”.
Information on diet or general farm design was invaluable to the brothers at the time.
With career progression and further personal development in mind, Philip transferred companies and joined Osmonds On Farm Business Ltd as sales manager; unfortunately, the company closed its doors for good at the beginning of this year.
Thankfully, that turned into another opportunity for Philip, when he was offered a position with PharVet. They are more aligned with the traders such as the agri-stores and co-ops.
The company sells a diverse range of animal health products. “The thing that struck me or excites me is that they have such a range of products for every season”.
Looking back, Philip reflects on the experiences that have brought him to the position that he is in now. “Every bit of my experience both on-farm and off-farm along the way, even as far back as State Street, has stood to me," he said.
Philip is very excited about his new role. Farming is becoming more intensive with herd health and productivity being core focus on-farms.
He said, "I see a huge opportunity for growth in PharVet and I will be able to take it there”.
Philip is not long in his role, but he has good vision for it - he joined PharVet just a month ago, a week after he came back from honeymoon with his new wife Alison.
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